The last paragraph of the introduction leads the content and the context for the rest of the book!
“That means we need a different strategy for overcoming failure, one that builds on the experience and takes advantage of the knowledge people have but somehow also makes up for our inevitable human inadequacies. And there is such a strategy though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity, maybe even crazy to those of us who have spent years carefully developing ever more advanced skill and technologies.”
In his book, Dr. Gawande, a surgeon, shows how a simple tool - A Checklist, can save a life or penny.
We have a vast knowledge about many things and yet, continue to make errors. Sometimes these avoidable errors are repeated. The nine chapters are full of real-life, detailed examples; medical and aviation stories. He attempts to explain how expertise by itself will continue to make errors in any task. To avoid countless errors and debacles, we must combine expertise with consistent execution of a strategy (the Checklist).
Such a combination will help us to be very productive. Through the examples, the author explains that a Checklist is never a “how-to manual”. The know-how is your advanced technologies, advanced skills, and your experience. The Checklist is your strategy, and itemized list, in the simplest form.
The author does not demonstrate how to write a Checklist. Through numerous examples, he teaches how to develop a Checklist as each can only be applied to a specific situation or task. It can NEVER be duplicated to fit another action plan. The Checklist must be created by the group that is involved in a specific task.
If you read the book with the expectation of learning how to create a Checklist, this book will greatly disappoint you. If you read the book to understand how crucial the Checklist is and to understand the importance of writing a customized Checklist, you will appreciate this book.